STUDY ABROAD AFTER 12th – BUT IS IT REALLY WORTH IT???
Im sure many of you who have plans of studying abroad, and want to enroll yourselves into various undergraduate or postgraduate programs are probably reading this post. This post is a collective contribution by many friends of mine, most of which have spent their entire college years in the US,UK and Australia. Please note that In the next few paragraphs, I am not discouraging or demotivating any of you who plan on pursuing an education abroad. Im only opening your eyes. This is due to the fact that most education agencies and education websites wont tell you the “negative” aspects of studying abroad,or either if studying abroad worth it or not, that is because they have much to gain, either in the form of commissions that they receive for each student that is enrolled by them into the foreign college or by advertising the colleges on their online space, so if they were to even mildly condemn or say even something remotely bad against foreign education, they would put themselves out of business, and their job is to paint a rosy picture for every aspiring student that comes to them to seek admission.
Sure we all know that a foreign degree has some virtues, and it’s a great experience, the freedom, the fun, It’s a whole new life, but putting that aside, here is a few things that should broaden your view:
The foremost thing my pal “rish” told me about, was his experience at Boston univ. He said the first few weeks in Boston was such a nightmare, because he had to keep saying “sorry I didn’t get that”, to every other person on campus to whom he spoke to because he just couldn’t get a hold of the accent, and let me tell you,his English was perfect, he went to one of the best schools in Bombay ,but somehow when he was having a conversation, some of the phrases they used, and the slang words were different, not the usual lingo that we hear in the movies. Soon many people thought that he was either deaf or some lame loser who came from the jungle!
But This was “college talk”, it was cool and hip, and when he couldn’t get into the scheme of things, he felt left out and dint feel cool enough. Of course it took him almost a year to blend in and sort of “learn the language”, then things were smooth sailing, and he learnt all this by hanging out with new people everyday and being social, it made him more confident and more accepted.
One of the most important factors of an education abroad is the cost factor. An undergrad course of 3-4 years will set you back atleast $85,000 in tuition fees plus boarding and meals. That is equivalent to about 12 lacs a year. Sure if your dad is rich it doesn’t matter, but truth of the matter is, only a fraction of all students applying to foreign universities don’t take an education loan. all the rest DO. These are small percentage who are rich enough to come back home to daddy’s business and take over from there, but for the rest, a $100,000 education is A LOT of money, considering the fact that paying back that educational loan is NOT an easy task
Think about a few things here:
What can 46 lacs buy-
How long would I have to work in order to recover 46 lacs and clear my debts-
Is taking a HUGE loan, traveling thousand miles away in a strange land all alone for four years, away from friends and family worth the time and money?
And that is not all, there are other expenses. Because of our currency difference, things seem so much more expensive. Its our natural tendency to “convert” everything to our local currency. When u take a cab just around a few blocks and pay $10 ,that is immediately converted to Rs.460 in your mind. Its a subconscious thing we do, and thinking of that makes you go crazy. You think its such a short drive and I paid 460 bucks! Back home that would cost me just 25.
And here is another shocker for most vegetarians—most Vegetables are more expensive than meat !
So before you use up half your dads savings and take the rest as an educational loan, think about the financials, and if you will be able to set aside at least 25K every month for 5-10 years(depending on loan amount and tenure) from your salary towards your loan EMIs.
This remains the number one factor that first time students find hard to adjust to when they go to college abroad. Its the cultural difference between us and that of the new country that we go to live in. Some might say that is the whole purpose of seeking a foreign degree-to try and culturally integrate with people from different races and countries. But easier said then done. For some people, this might seem an easy thing to do, and for others its extremely hard to make new friends with someone from a different race and nationality. Some of us who have been brought up in a westernized society find it easier to gel and integrate into a forward thinking group. But there are others who come from small towns in the north, and who haven’t been exposed enough to other cultures of the world and they end up not having any fun.
There are Very big chances that you maybe left out or excluded from parties and event, maybe not on purpose, but just because you’re not “one of the crowd”, so take that in your stride, and don’t be broken about it.It will be sometime before you can integrate into new society.
This may sound unimportant or foolish, but believe me ,we aren’t used to extremely cold weather, and certainly not the snow! When we are here, we think,, how bad can it be ,its just chilly climate ,it cant be so bad ,but be ready to pack overcoats ad snow shoes if you’re college is in north America. Spending 3monthhs in harsh cold winter is no joke for us who live in a tropical paradise, and sometimes in blistering heat, SO suddenly in a matter of 15 hours we are transported to this freezing land, and that can play havoc with our health. One friend called jay.d even slipped in the snow (since he was not accustomed to walking on ice) and broke one of his ribs. His poor mother flew down all the way to care of him for a month! Needless to say it was a bad experience.
Most parents send their kids abroad with the hope that after they graduate ,they will have a better life, get a nice job and earn a good salary .No doubt the quality of life in most of these countries is of a higher level, but what is not known is that getting a job can be tough. For starters, most of the plum jobs are given first to their “own kind” if you know what I mean, its not discrimination but “you feed your family first “ and then the outsider right?
So you will almost always get a B grade job,if you ever get one. that means you will receive a lesser than average pay, which in turn means you will have to make do with tiny cramped room-apartment.
So to sum it up====
You took a loan of approx 46lacs,left all your family friends and loved ones behind, went to a strange ,cold and distant country 10,000 miles away, slog your @ss off for 4 years, only to realize that , –you now work at a mediocre low paying job that isn’t even related to your specialization at college, you live in a small dingy apartment in the suburbs and you miss home like CRAZY!!!